By Daniel Hunter

BSI, the national standards body and business standards company, has welcomed Lord Heseltine’s recommendations for unlocking growth and stimulating innovation across the UK.

Within recommendation 43 of his report, No Stone Unturned, he validates the essential role of standards in providing a first mover advantage on the international stage:

“Standards play a vital role in bringing new ideas to market faster. They are the priceless ingredients that underpin the dissemination of all emerging technologies. They are a form of knowledge — setting out a way forward for new technologies as they are being developed. They define terminology and shape principles and processes for industry to rally round with confidence. As we see in all walks of life, those who set the agenda often enjoy a clear advantage over those who simply follow.”

As such, he calls for a shift in perception towards standards so they shrug off a misplaced reputation of being ‘a form of government intervention’ and are instead embraced as a platform for innovation:

“What we need in the UK is not a change to the system for how we set standards, but a change of culture. Early engagement with a future supply chain, end users, customers and government through the standards process is necessary to maximise the benefits of research and innovation for the UK economy.”

BSI supports Lord Heseltine’s analysis and is committed to shaping standards at a rate that reflects the pace of innovation and delivers a real global competitive advantage. BSI Director of Standards, Dr Scott Steedman, is working in collaboration with industry leaders to trigger the cultural change Lord Heseltine is calling for so that standards become an essential part of the British inventor’s DNA.

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